According to Sec. 49.08 of the Texas Penal Code, you commit the crime of intoxication manslaughter if you drive a vehicle in a public place while you are intoxicated and cause the death of another person as a result.
The state of Texas takes driving while intoxicated seriously. Sec. 49.01 of the Texas Penal Code defines intoxication as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, or at any level that causes you to lose “normal use of mental or physical faculties.” Your BAC can be measured by the number of grams of alcohol in your breath, blood, or urine.
Being intoxicated is dangerous because it negatively impacts your ability to control your movements and inhibits your cognitive function and ability to react. While most people assume intoxication equals drunkenness, it could also involve the use of controlled substances.
The Criminal Penalty for Intoxication Manslaughter
A criminal conviction can wreak havoc on your personal, professional, and social life. It can take a toll on your standing in your community and could separate you from your career and family if you are convicted and subsequently sentenced to imprisonment. Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony in Texas, and according to Sec. 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, is punishable by:
- Incarceration of 2 to 20 years
- A fine of up to $10,000
You are at risk of these criminal and financial penalties if you are arrested for and charged with intoxication manslaughter. A local lawyer may be able to help you limit the severity of the penalties you face by challenging the validity of the test used to measure your BAC or by questioning the calibration or effectiveness of testing machinery, mechanisms, and methods.
A felony conviction can permanently alter your life, alter the lives of your family, and limit your employment and career options. When you are facing these charges, and their aftermath, you may want to review the circumstance surrounding the car accident you were involved in and your subsequent arrest with a lawyer in your area who may be able to help you limit the damage of a felony conviction.
A Criminal Conviction Can Lead to the Loss of Certain Rights
The damage of a felony conviction can leave a permanent stain on your record and result in the loss of many civil rights. According to the United States Probation Office—Western District of Texas guidelines, if you are convicted of a felony in Texas, you lose the right to:
- Vote until after you have fully served your sentence, including incarceration, parole, supervision, or probation
- Serve on a federal jury unless you receive a pardon
- Become a candidate for any public office or position unless you receive a full pardon
- Receive, transport, own, or possess a firearm or ammunition or any form of explosive
A felony conviction can also come with criminal and financial enhancements that make the penalties you pay even more severe. A one-time mistake may not have to limit your ability to enjoy life, maintain gainful employment, or spend time with your family. Contact our legal team today to find out how we may be able to help you regain control of your life after an arrest for intoxication manslaughter.
Potentially Limit the Damage of an Arrest With a Lawyer By Your Side
Although you can fight a felony conviction on your own, having a lawyer by your side may have certain advantages. Before, during, and after an arrest in Texas, you still have rights that must be honored and respected. Having a lawyer by your side can ensure your rights are not violated and you receive representation that may help limit the potential harm you are facing.
Our team knows and understands DWI laws, penalties, and consequences in Texas. We also know how important it is to limit the damage of a conviction on your life and career. We fight hard for our clients to ensure none of your rights were violated during the arrest process and aim to make sure your penalties are minimal and do not permanently and negatively impact your life and lifestyle.
If you were in an accident involving a DWI, you can never have your record sealed if you are convicted. A lawyer may be able to help you avoid this consequence by negotiating a plea bargain that avoids a criminal conviction.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today
Are you facing the potential damage of a felony conviction in Texas? You are not alone. You can fight back against an intoxication manslaughter arrest with the guidance and direction of a lawyer. Get help when you need it most by contacting the criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg by calling (214) 696-9253.